Lead Contaminated Nestle Maggi Noodles, What you should Know

Maggi Noodle and the Lead contamination

Following the recent investigation on the Lead contaminated Noodle brand from Nestle ”Maggi” , it is important that you know the dangers and reasons why you should be alert and stay clear of the   said contaminated food.

First of all, these questions needs to be addressed:

Why is there lead in Maggi noodles?

Lead occurs in the earth’s crust and is present in air, soil and dust, Industrial emissions, car exhaust and even activities like shooting lead bullets at firing ranges can all put particles of the heavily-toxic metal in the air.

It also gets into the soil and water through lead pipes and lead-based paints. The metal is a stubborn contaminant: it can travel far and it clings to soil and remains in the upper layers of dirt.

Lead bar
Lead bar

According to the United States’ Food and Drug Administration, once it is on food it “cannot always be completely removed by washing or other steps.”

Lead can find its way into everything from fruit juices and baby food to chili powder.

While it’s still unclear how the Maggi noodle samples might have allegedly been contaminated, experts say the way noodles are processed could have theoretically exposed them to lead.

Therefore even if the noodles and flavoring were clean, sometimes food can be contaminated by the packaging used.

 

What is the difference between MSG and glutamate?

The amino acid L-Glutamate is one of the most abundant and important amino acids of proteins. It is found in all foods that contain protein, such as cheese, milk, mushrooms, meat, fish, and many vegetables. The natural flavour-enhancing levels of glutamate in food varies greatly, but are high in foods such as tomatoes, mushrooms, soy sauce and fish sauce.

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Monosodium_glutamate_crystals

Monosodium glutamate, abbreviated as MSG, was discovered more than a century ago by the Japanese scientist Kikunae Ikeda, who gave this unique taste the name “umami”, the fifth taste beside sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Today, MSG is mostly produced by a natural fermentation process that has been used for centuries to make such common foods as beer, vinegar and yogurt.

Are MSG or glutamate unsafe?

Leading international food authorities have confirmed MSG is safe to use in food under common conditions of use.

These authorities include the international World Health Organization/UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s evaluation committee, the European Commission’s Scientific Committee for Food and the United States Food and Drug Administration.

None of the many scientific studies carried out over the last 30 years has shown a link between MSG intake and adverse reactions such as ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’.

There have been some concerns raised about the contribution of MSG to sodium intake via the diet. However, MSG contains only about one-third the amount of sodium as table salt (13 percent vs. 40 percent) and so used in products, in combination with a small amount of table salt, MSG can help reduce the total amount of sodium in a recipe by 20% to 40%, while maintaining an enhanced flavour. The level of glutamate for example in Maggi noodles is around 0.2 g/100 g, which is close to the average level of glutamate measured in the same portion size of tomatoes or peas.

Nigeria Food Regulatory Warning

In View of the recent development, The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) hereby brings to the attention of the general public that some Maggi noodle produced by Nestle India contained excess lead and were therefore deemed unsafe and hazardous for human consumption. Nestle has recalled its Maggi instant noodles from stores across India following the report by the Indian Food Safety Regulators of probable lead contamination. Lead exposure causes an estimated 143,000 deaths a year worldwide.

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In view of the potential safety concerns on consumption of the lead contaminated Maggi instant noodles, NAFDAC warns that Maggi instant noodles produced by Nestle India should not be consumed.

Departmental stores, Wholesalers and retailers should also be proactive in ensuring that such products are brought to NAFDAC if they come across any, and under no circumstances should such products be sold.

Although this warning is clear and sound more still need to be done to secure the porous borders of Nigeria against persons, or organisations who might prey on the general public and smuggle this banned Noodle to Nigeria.

Thus the fight against fake and banned products requires our collective effort, Stay healthy, Live Healthy.

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